Despite lawmakers’ approval of a plan to extend the digital transition period until June, at least three Orlando stations may pull the plug on their analog broadcasts as early as Feb. 17.
Public broadcaster WMFE-Ch. 24, Univision’s WVEN-Ch. 26 and indy WRDQ-Ch. 27 may turn off their analog signals 12 days from now, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“I don’t think there is much of anything to be gained by postponing it to June 12,” WVEN VP/GM Antonio Guernica told the Sentinel. “I think everybody who is going to be ready is ready and those who aren’t ready now, I don’t believe they will prepare between now and June 12. There are some folks who will react only when they go to their TV and their favorite programming is not there.”
Meanwhile, among other stations: WKMG-Ch. 6, WESH-Ch. 2 and WKCF-Ch. 18 will likely wait until the new June deadline to end analog broadcasts, while WFTV-Ch. 9 hasn’t made a decision on what to do.
Why pull the plug early? Money. The stations could save thousands of dollars in electricity bills by turning off their analog transmitters by the original DTV deadline of Feb. 17. They’re already paying for power for both analog and digital transmitters now.